Rally Australia Chief Medical Officer Dr Matthew Croxford and CAMS Australian Rally Championship Technical Delegate Barry Habgood have been awarded with top honours at the prestigious FIA Prize Giving Ceremony in St Petersburg.
Dr Croxford was named the FIA Best Chief Medical Officer Official of the Season, while Habgood the FIA Best Chief Scrutineer Official of the Season as part of the FIA Annual Awards for Volunteers and Officials.
Since first joining in 1998, Dr Croxford has worked at every level of motor sport in the medical field including rallies, circuit and off-road events both in Australia and overseas.
As he made his way up the medical ranks, Dr Croxford also utilised his knowledge and experience at an administration level, taking on the role of CAMS National Medical Advisory Committee Chair in 2013 and joining the FIA Medical Commission in 2014.
In 2013, Dr Croxford also became the Chief Medical Officer of Rally Australia where he now hosts extrication and other training to a medical team of more than 80 people ahead of each event.
Despite being a very deserving recipient of the award, it will still a shock for Dr Croxford that he was regarded the best in the world.
“I was amazed when (CAMS President) Andrew Papadopoulos called me to inform me that I had won,” Dr Croxford said.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting it but it was very nice to get the recognition for what we have been doing in medical field.
“I have been doing this for a while now, but I never considered that I would ever be awarded with an award of such importance – it hadn’t even crossed my mind.
“It was a big surprise. I initially said to Andrew that it was unexpected and very good but now that I think about it, it’s awesome that both Barry and I have been awarded together.”
Like Dr Croxford, the initial phone call from the CAMS President surprised Habgood, despite working in the industry for almost 30 years.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told and I was speechless,” Habgood said.
“It’s something I knew existed but I never thought about it as I never thought I would win, but it’s incredible because there are probably a million scrutineers in this world and I got the award.
“I have been doing this for an awfully long time and there are a number of people I dedicated this award to including former FIA technical director Jacques Berger and Jerome Toquet – those two blokes got me on this path.
“However in reality, the people I really need to thank are all the scrutineers around this country who I have worked with over the past two decades.
“All of those people who are committed to doing a good job is what gets people like me into this position and now I can say I’ve become really good friends with of them.”
Habgood first began his involvement in motor sport during the early 1990s and not long after, he was appointed as Technical Delegate for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship, a role that he still holds to this day.
In 2013, he became the Chief Scrutineer for the WRC round of Rally Australia, a position he held for two years before stepping aside in 2016 to provide support and mentorship.
Domestically, he has been just as influential, taking on a variety of high level official roles in both local and regional events within Australia and was awarded the prestigious CAMS Official of the Year award in 2001.
With two Australians receiving significant awards on the international stage in the one year, CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos believed the duo were a shining example of the attitude of all Australian officials.
“It is unusual for a National Sporting Authority to receive more than one award in a season, so for us to receive two this year is truly fantastic,” Papadopoulos said.
“It’s a true testament to the quality and calibre of the thousands of CAMS officials from both the past and present, and of course to Matthew and Barry themselves who should be immensely proud.
“Their recognition at the highest levels reflect CAMS’ and Australia’s position as one of the leaders in world motor sport.”
Dr Croxford and Habgood join fellow CAMS officials Roger Chirnside, Dr Brent May, Belinda Taylor, Adrian Stafford, Ewan Cole, Dr Rik Hagen, Steve Chopping and Dr Michelle Gatton as recipients of FIA awards in recent years.